Last fall, I read Jeff Vandermeer’s BOOKLIFE: STRATEGIES AND SURVIVAL TIPS FOR THE 21ST -CENTURY WRITER. One of the things I most enjoyed about the book was the fact it was divided into two main sections: your Public Booklife and your Private Booklife.
Permission to Fail is a chapter within the Private Booklife section. Vandermeer touches upon a few things I’ve mentioned here before: the risk involved in the creative life. I’d love to hear what all of you think about what he has to say:
“…Perfection can be a signal of lack of imagination…To be great, we must attempt so much that we not only are in danger of forever failing, but that we do fail, and in the failure create something greater than if we had set our sights lower.”
And his advice to high school students:
“Whatever you do from now on, don’t feel that it has to always be successful. To be successful, to be as good as you can possibly be in whatever field you choose, you need to feel like you can bungee jump out to the edge of success and into that space where the ropes might break. If you don’t you won’t take risks, you won’t get out there, to that place with a night sky full of unfamiliar stars where ‘success’ might become either something extraordinary or utter failure.. because utter failure and extraordinary accomplishment are conjoined twins most of the time.”
AND this just in:
Congratulations to Rebecca Stead who’s won the 2010 Newbery for WHEN YOU REACH ME!
Jennifer Shirk says
I needed this post right now. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂
ann foxlee says
Wow, so beautifully said, and so so true! Thanks for posting this!
Rosslyn Elliott says
Thanks, Caroline! This is a good way to start the week.
David J. West says
Great advice, we will fail sometimes and we have to accept that and just get back up and keep doing.
Thanks for that. I will revel in my private failure.
Also, I get to go see Rebecca Stead in just a few weeks at an SCBWI event at my local book store! Don’t I feel lucky.
Jemi Fraser says
I always tell my kids on the first day of school that I won’t be happy with them if they never make mistakes. You have to take risks to succeed in anything and risks bring mistakes along with them.
Robert Kent, of Robertkent.net fame says
That’s a great way of looking at things! Thanks for sharing. Everything I have ever done in my life has been a success, of course. Many times I have accomplished increadibly successful failures!
Kara Parlin says
Fail big and fail often is a good attitude, I think. It’s against most of what we’ve been taught, of course.
The best feeling for me is when I fail at something and then TRY AGAIN. Being able to pick yourself up and go for something after missing it is a powerful quality.
I love those quotes. I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. And my motto for the year is to go above and beyond the norm. Try something new in my writing. Be risky. I might fail, but I’ll also grow.
And thanks for stopping by. Good luck with adding tension! And congrats on having an agent!!